What do you like/dislike about 'Let's play' videos?

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  • 1Dgaf 2 Sep 2012 15:29:02 4,033 posts
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    What do you like and dislike about Let's play'-style videos?

    I've got a capture card some games. I think it would be fun to do some gameplay vids with commentary, but I'm not sure what people want to see. Do they only want expert players? A regular gamer's point of view? Something in between? Do you want to see the mistakes or have them editing out for smoother gameplay?

    Also, the idea of doing stuff solo seems really egotistical - or are you OK with one person speaking?

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  • monkehhh 2 Sep 2012 15:32:22 3,615 posts
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    I enjoy the Giantbomb approach - 2 people bumbling through a game and having a laugh.
  • nickthegun 2 Sep 2012 15:34:35 62,204 posts
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    It depends whos doing the walkthrough.

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  • stryker1121 2 Sep 2012 18:57:24 837 posts
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    "Expert" or speed run LPs bore me silly. Like monkehhh above said, the GB approach is my favorite - two regular gamers who may be playing the game for the first time or haven't played it in years, stumbling through it, making mistakes, then learning the systems along with the viewer. I would very much enjoy a Demon/Dark Souls LP from someone who's never played it but w/ all the deaths I imagine that would not make a good "watch" for a lot of people.

    Have no problem w/ a solo LP, but it gets tricky b/c you may have an urge to comment on everything. Solo LPs the commentary may be best left to a minimum unless you're naturally funny or insightful. I watched a good part of a Silent Hill: Homecoming playhtough and the guy just did text commentary, much of it VERY funny and did not come at the expense of the "action" (Homecoming looked incredibly dull but the guy's commentary trumped the boring gameplay.)
  • andytheadequate 2 Sep 2012 19:18:54 8,495 posts
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    It very much depends on the game. Certain games are awful to watch if a new player is playing. I find watching videos of bad trials players incredibly infuriating. For story based games its probably best to have an average player ability.

    Only leave the mistakes in if they're funny...
  • Deleted user 2 September 2012 19:22:14
    Genuinely don't understand why someone would want to watch recordings of other people playing games. For me, they're useful to skim through if you're wondering about gameplay or whatever in a game (as most reviews nowadays are so crappy you come away with virtually no idea whatsoever) or as a video walkthrough so you know what the fuck to actually do in games that are obtuse and illogical, but that's about it. Most games hinge so much on the interactivity to maintain narrative cohesion (look at the Walking Dead - the story's actually pretty shit, but because it's your choices you're making to further it, you feel more involved and more connected to it), so removing that removes a massive part of the experience.

    If it's just for the lols in a MST3K kind of way, that's alright I suppose, but considering the length of most games you've got to be a comedic quick-witted genius to make it worth bothering with. And let's face it, most people aren't.

    Edited by meme at 19:22:29 02-09-2012
  • RelaxedMikki 2 Sep 2012 19:47:03 947 posts
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    Make it entertaining (interesting, amusing, informative, impressive, whatever - doesn't have to be funny, but does need to be entertaining)

    Don't do a game I have already played in the way I have played it. Do something that I may have missed, or that is brand new, or is a forgotten classic. I'm not interested in watching you playing a game I have got, unless you are giving tips.

    That's what I'd say. Don't try and be funny necessarily. There are other ways to make watching worthwhile...
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 2 Sep 2012 19:52:36 40,920 posts
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    I don't like let's play videos where someone is playing the exact same fucking game as all the others, and haven't even got the personality of a house brick.

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  • shamblemonkee 2 Sep 2012 19:56:16 14,868 posts
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    Either the giantbomb QL approach of two friends discovering a game for the first time, or just the first 20 minutes of a game, no commentary, to let me consider the purchase.

    anything else is a waste of time for me.
  • itamae 2 Sep 2012 20:14:37 9,914 posts
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    I watch a lot of Let's Plays and agree with what RelexedMikki said; don't just play a game with your microphone on, show me something I haven't seen yet. Some of the best LPs I've seen have had a lot of thought, effort and time put into them, and it shows.

    For example, there is an ongoing LP of the completely average looking Cold Fear where the LPer in question actually wrote a DirectX hook to enable wireframe shots and export textures, just to talk about level design and inspirations for the game. I never would have touched the game, but it really makes you appreciate the work that at least some of the developers put into it.

    The worst LPs in my opinion are blind runs by people who think they are funny. Unfortunately most people aren't.
  • Metalfish 2 Sep 2012 20:42:09 8,926 posts
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    It does amaze me the amount of people who will ad lib, or at least try very badly.
  • Garfy 2 Sep 2012 20:48:30 724 posts
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    Many LPers and Youtubers I find funny for a little while but then they become irritating.

    Examples, TotalBiscuit and the Yogscast.

    Edit: On the other hand Jesse (Omfgcata) is a good guy and that seems to make consistently funny videos.

    Edited by Garfy at 20:51:18 02-09-2012
  • oldschoolsoviet 2 Sep 2012 20:54:37 5,656 posts
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    Genuinely don't understand why someone would want to watch recordings of other people playing games.
    I suppose in terms of GiantBomb, it's typically a preview of a new game, the chance to see actual gameplay, and occasionally funny comments. Found myself chuckling along to the Kerbal Space QL. It's a game I'll probably never play (no PC), but it's interesting to see it because of that.

    Slightly fascinated by the DayZ vids of a few guys too, again, for the same reasons. I don't have the kit, but it's an opportunity to see what the score is/what the fuss is about. The combination of live chatter with overlayed narration really works well on some of them, giving background info and suchlike.

    I'm not going to watch a playthrough vid of something I have, or have no interest in, but for previews and games I might be undecided about/can't play, they're handy.
  • graysonavich 2 Sep 2012 21:03:53 7,385 posts
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    Saturated market run by corporate bullshit.

    Live streaming is all the rage now. Far less white noise at the moment and it makes Youtube look antiquated.

    Once you learn to drown out the donation begging idiots.
  • RinseWashRepeat 2 Sep 2012 21:07:26 38 posts
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    People trying to be funny. I like people being funny. People trying to be funny? Hell no.

    Also, have a CLUE as to what you're doing. I don't want to see you LEARN how to play the game. I want to see you PLAY it.

    "Oh, I don't know what I'm doing."
    "Hm. What does this do?"
    "I'm so confused. Hold on, let me get the menu screen up..."

    No good.


  • senso-ji 2 Sep 2012 21:11:09 6,143 posts
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    Let's play videos are now the worst thing on youtube; people have quickly realised that you can make good money for almost zero effort. Unless you approach the playthrough from a unique perspective or show off some impressive skills, then don't bother (I'm referring to Let's Plays in general, not speaking directly to the OP).
  • graysonavich 2 Sep 2012 21:14:34 7,385 posts
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    I wouldn't say it's quite "zero effort", but it does require a fuck load of luck to get noticed - or have an already popular friend to recommend/like/whatever your video and have a decent back catalogue of stuff.

    But yeah - kids/idiots see people making $10,000 a month sitting playing video games and think it's easy. No different from anything else I suppose.
  • Mr-Brett 2 Sep 2012 21:36:24 13,119 posts
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    I like the Giantbomb quick looks for games I'm unsure of since I kinda know what those guys are like, how my own tastes tend to align with theirs and they don't gloss over the issues (which isn't to say that I want to see all the bugs or people being crap at games either). As sad as it sounds I'd say it's more akin to being around a friends house and watching them play.

    If it's a game I've not played but want to play I'm not go to sully the experience by watching someone else play it first. If it's a game I've played already then the video needs to add something like humour to stop it being really boring, I quite like Two Best Friends Play on Machinima for that.

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  • mal 2 Sep 2012 22:41:20 23,264 posts
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    I find Let's Play videos a useful resource for retro games to see how they look in motion and how they play. I guess I prefer pairs of people at the mike to just one, since at least then the one not playing can rip the piss out of the player for playing badly. On that note, I do prefer people figuring out the game as they go along. At the other extreme, I don't see the point of speedruns with a voice track. Speedruns are not how most people play the game, so are useless for my needs unless I'm trying to speedrun a game myself, in which case a funny commentary is surplus to requirements at the very least.

    Perhaps you could have pairs of gamers, one who has competed the game, and a newbie who's got the controls. Might eliminate the trial and error approach that wind some people up (although personally I rather enjoy the guy with the controls getting wound up on t'internet). With pairs of people it rarely takes that long to figure out most game puzzles at least.

    I would be actively interested in Let's Play videos done with a British accent and sensibility. That would be different.

    To contradict myself, I've been rather enjoying Jesse's playthrough of McPixel, which is mainly just Jesse failing to win at a very silly game. In American. At least it's not a speedrun. Very definitely not.

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  • pinebear 2 Sep 2012 22:47:06 8,565 posts
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    rodpad wrote:
    Dislike - anything with Total Biscuit in it.

  • monkehhh 2 Sep 2012 23:30:56 3,615 posts
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    The DayZ videos that cropped up around its infancy made a big impact too - I guess for me it's watching someone discover a game, cos that's how I like games to be. I don't need to be spoon-fed every detail by the game itself and it's fun to watch someone figure it out.
  • robthehermit 2 Sep 2012 23:58:35 4,430 posts
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    I enjoyed nickplaysvideogames run through of Dark Souls.

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  • Ashwood 3 Sep 2012 00:03:38 408 posts
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    666theheartless666 is a fun British LPer. His Alan Wake playthrough was very very funny. Used to just set a camcorder in front of his tv. Made for bad quality, but it kinda added to the charm for me.
  • Dirtbox 3 Sep 2012 00:06:55 80,104 posts
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    rodpad wrote:
    Dislike - anything with Total Biscuit in it.
    Fuck yes.

    Sanctimonious cunt who loves the sound of his own, frankly pathetic voice. I despise him.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • psychokitten Moderator 3 Sep 2012 00:51:49 7,794 posts
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    Let's play vids by arrogant know-it-alls, and dull bastards that think they're hilarious. The two common strands, both as unbearable as each other.

    I like some let's play vids, more multiplayer oriented ones, but it's rare they're good. If someone sounds like the love the sound of their own voice, it's likely to be a video I will stop watching quickly..
  • repairmanjack 3 Sep 2012 00:51:55 6,099 posts
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    I wouldn't watch anything that had a chance of spoiling a game's story for me. Don't understand why people would watch videos of the first twenty minutes of a game coming out in a couple of weeks... I've loved watching people dick about in Minecraft though.
  • mrharvest 3 Sep 2012 06:06:36 5,234 posts
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    I watch a lot of LPs. I'm really interested in the youtube celebrity phenomenon.

    I think for me the most important thing about the LP is that I feel like the LPer is a nice guy (or you can be a ponce like Total Biscuit but then you really need the right co-commentator who's even more ridiculous). Beyond that it's just the obvious stuff: if you are a crap gamer, make sure your commentary is actually funny. Bonus points for showing games that I've never heard of before or have no intention of playing. Although to make a good channel I'd say have a mix of popular content and more obscure titles.

    In a way, although this is very much the "new broadcasting", the rules are surprisingly similar to the old broadcasting. Know your audience: you can't please everyone. Who are you making your videos for will make you focus on the right stuff. Know your core strengths: why would people watch your video rather than the hundred others? And finally, make sure your technical aspects are broadcast standard. Knowing a bit about mics and compressing is pretty much required these days.
  • BryanAKADJ 3 Sep 2012 06:28:00 284 posts
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    I watch a lot of Let's Plays from various people, one of my favorite Lets Players is derangedband, hes played all the main Resident Evil games due to popular demand from his only now 1800+ subscribers, a number of people who I watch have an unnecessary amount of subscribers compared to him, he isn't sponsored and has refused to be sponsored as well, he puts a lot-a lot of work into his videos, its fantastic. I highly recommend him.
    I watch LPs because I find the person interesting, or its a game I can't get, beat, or something and I'm a total idiot, I watched derangedbands RE playthroughs instead of playing RE myself because I couldn't get the controls right to save my life, I wouldn't understand the puzzles and would just quit and stuff. Also I'm a total scaredy cat, I would very slowly inch around and waste all my bullets then stand in one spot forever.

    I would like to Lets Play myself, but I find myself the most boring person ever so my stuff would be boring as well, and many people have that ONE game they know everything about and love, but I don't. I played Pokemon a lot when I was young, I remember that, but I don't remember who my team was or anything along those lines. I also played many games with my friends too, but my memories gone away with my friends I think, they all went a very different direction than I did as we got older and my friends are friends with eachother, I'm the one who went away I guess, but anyway....I'll stop the sob story there.

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